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Hyperion Records

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Votive Offering (1900) by Wilhelm List (1864-1918)
Track(s) taken from CDA67017
Recording details: July 1997
Westminster Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Arthur Johnson
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: January 1998
Total duration: 5 minutes 17 seconds

'Magnificent' (Gramophone)

'A recording of arresting immediacy and musical richness' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Gloriously sung. This certainly deserves to become a classic recording' (BBC Record Review)

'A work of surpassing beauty which will be a revelation to those who have not encountered it before, particularly in this fervent and inspired performance.' (The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs)

'Quite remarkable' (International Record Review)

'For connoisseurs of choral music this is an essential buy. Outstanding performances of two rarely heard 20th-century masterpieces' (Classic CD)

'I have been glued to my seat discovering this quite wonderful work [Pizzetti]. The performance needs no further reecommendation; it is utterly compelling' (Organists' Review)

'Martin's Mass is a life-enhancing creation of enormous invention and fervour. The Requiem by Pizzetti is simply ravishing. The recordings are superb' (Hi-Fi News)

'Both works are simply among the most beautiful pieces of music ever written. A most beguiling combination of melody and harmony, performed here with technical near-perfection and a magnificent range of emotional colour' (Hi Fi Choice)

'Westminster Cathedral Choir here produces one of its most inspired offerings yet. This is one of the purest and finest choral recordings I have ever heard' (Church Times)

De profundis
author of text
Psalm 130

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Pizzetti could be an immensely charming man but there was a horribly cantankerous side to his personality. Friendships he had held firm for decades would abruptly end as the result of one vehement outburst or a single snide remark. It was as a result of one such shattered friendship (with the composer Gian Francesco Malipiero) that Pizzetti composed one of his finest short choral works – a piece which inspired his most successful composition pupil, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, to describe Pizzetti as ‘without doubt the greatest vocal polyphonist Italy has had since the glorious fifteen-hundreds’. Malipiero had announced bitterly to the world the rift between Pizzetti and himself by publishing a pamphlet describing their argument and ending with the words: ‘Here endeth a friendship that started well but finished badly … de profundis clamavi.’ When, in 1937, that friendship was patched up both composers wrote a setting of Psalm 130, which begins with those Latin words, and dedicated their respective settings to each other. Pizzetti’s De profundis, scored for seven-part unaccompanied choir begins, appropriately, with the lowest voices descending through simple, overlapping arpeggios. The upper voices emerge gradually, building up to a climax on ‘quis sustinebit?’ before subsiding to close this short, but profoundly beautiful work on a single note marked to be sung ppp (as softly as possible).

from notes by Marc Rochester © 1998

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